Karybdis have been on our radar for a while, having featured as Band of the Day in December 2013. At that time, they were still pushing their debut album from 2011, From The Depths. Late 2015 saw news surface of a second album, Samsara. It’s out in a couple of weeks and I’ve been listening to it for a little while now and I’m suitably impressed.
Samsara is a nice step on from From The Depths; that little bit better in terms of production, that bit more adventurous in terms of songwriting. Although you could still chuck Karybdis into the “melodic death” pile in HMV (if they still sell anything other than Bieber and Frozen soundtrack albums), there’s a definite smattering of prog here and there (most notably in “Ascendancy”) and an effort to really drag you in with some wonderful intros.
The fast-picked clean guitar intro to “Mermaids” wouldn’t sound out of place on a blues rock album before the backup guitar is chucked away and the down-tuned one picked up. As for the strings at the beginning and end of “Constellations”and the chanted, hymnal opening to “Summon The Tides”… Wow.
Don’t think that this detracts from the heaviness though. Oh, no. the main part of every track is as thunderous and crushing as anything the band have done before. What they’ve done is temper this fury – harness it within fragile cages which emphasises the evil side of the core parts of the songs all the more.
Underneath the fury, the pounding chords and the throaty vocals, keyboards have just enough of an airing to add that touch of melody to proceedings. OK, not on every track. Title song “Samsara” is just belting in terms of pace and anger. Probably the most balls-out death metal of the tracks, there’s only a hint of melodic guitar to take the edge off. This is a song that will pulverise a live audience.
Karybdis seem to have caught the eyes, ears and minds of the metal press recently and deservedly so on the strength of this forthcoming release. Check out “Rorschach” below as a sample.
Samsara is released on February 19th